Friday, January 31, 2014

Cakes just for FUN!

So, I have so many other hobbies besides the Rainbow Loom. Crochet, reading, gaming, paper crafting, kumihimo, beading, baking and so on. It's the last one, baking, that helped to create this cute little monster for my adorable monster. My youngest son is absolutely in love with everything Elmo...books, stuffed animals, clothes, and so on. I had the urge to make something kind of extravagant, but I didn't really have a reason to do so, no birthdays, no holidays, no special I decided to go for it, just because.

This Elmo was made using Wilton's stand up teddy bear pan, which I always manage to overfill with batter because while I'm filling it, I just keep thinking it needs a little more....just a little more and BAM! cake all over....thank goodness I always put a cookie sheet under it. I had picked the pan up years ago and have used it maybe a handful of time, not because I don't want to, I just haven't had the need for a teddy bear.

But how did a teddy bear turn into an adorable Elmo you ask? I chopped off his tail, and ears and cut a large mouth into it's face and made indents in the feet for toes. Sounds so violent, but I assure you, the cake didn't feel a thing.  I covered him in butter cream icing and then in pre-made fondant from Wilton. Normally, I would make the fondant, but it is super hard to get a really nice red that doesn't taste awful. It's either just a dark pink or I've used so much food coloring get that you can taste it (even the no taste DOES have a taste after you put so much in.) Those reasons above and probably the most important was that I had run out of rubber gloves to wear while working the color into the fondant and I did NOT want red hands...again. Ok, so they weren't red, they were purple and it was awful!

I took the ears I cut off, covered them in butter cream, and then fondant for the eyes. Adding a black fondant center for the pupil. The nose was basically a cake pop made from the mouth and tail pieces and again covered in butter cream and fondant.

I guess I just wanted to share my Elmo. Overall, I was very happy with how he turned out and seeing my son's face light up when he saw it was worth it all day long. It's great to do things, just because!

ONE Loom Checkerboard Rainbow Loom Bracelet Tutorial

I'm totally stoked! I figured it out! I decided to look at the loom a different way and it has opened up a huge number of possibilities regarding how I can make bracelets. I've really started to get into this taking a part of the loom so that a bracelet that normally couldn't be made on one loom is now possible! It all started with the one loom Kaleidoscope bracelet and has expanded from there...the one loom Stained Glass bracelet too.

Sometimes, though, I feel like I keep revisiting the same bracelets, mainly because I keep thinking of ways to better it or to reduce the number of  looms so that more people can enjoy them....and really, it's the last part. I want everyone to be able to wear all designs that the Rainbow Loom has to offer and if I can figure out how to make a bracelet go from needing two or three or more looms to make...down to just one, I think that is fabulous!

I've got quite a few tutorials that will be coming out in the next Granny Square, the Zipper and an alternate version to the Stained Glass bracelet (that only needs one loom and can be made as long as you want! No extensions to figure out!) So it is going to be pretty exciting around here. I hope you will stop by often to see what is going on!

Without further ado, I am presenting my One Loom Checkerboard bracelet tutorial. I did mess while I was filming and only realized it after I was editing. Hopefully, not too many people will hold it against me!

As always, ENJOY!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Multiple Button Closure for Rainbow Loom Bracelets

I really like the look that buttons add to the Rainbow Loom bracelets. And besides, it's not just that, but they are functional as well. I don't have to mess with the ugly, not always secure c/s-clips that come with the loom. You can find some adorable buttons to add, dinosaurs, hearts, robots, flowers...anything. I even see buttons on several bracelets being called charms (please don't buy these "charms" at jacked up prices when they are just buttons you can find at Wal-Mart, Michael's, JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics, etc)

And they are soooo easy to add! Any place you can place an end cap (doubled rubber band on one peg) you can place what I'm calling a button cap. You simply pull a rubber band through the button holes and then take the ends and wrap them around the peg. It doesn't matter if you button has a shank (loop that sticks out from the back of the button) or regular buttons like those below that you can put the bands through. You can take a look at this post to get a better idea of what I mean. I plan to do a video tutorial explaining a lot of this, but for now, a blog will have to do.

Quadruple Double X bracelet with 4 buttons

Bracelet with 2 buttons

See how the button caps are looped around the pegs? This is done in place of the end caps that you would normally put on the bracelet to secure the the bands when you are first looping. (So, the opposite end from the red arrow.)

After looping the entire bracelet, you take any open ends and wrap them around the button to secure it. Cute and functional!

Extending the Checkerboard Bracelet Tutorial

Last week was pretty great. Stretch Band Bracelet loops by Pepperell and Loom Bands were all 50% off at JoAnn's. Let's just say I'm stocked up for quite awhile...but if I feel the urge to buy more they are apparently 25% off this week as well! Thank goodness we have a JoAnn's in town! I'm just hoping that Michael's finally gets in new bands, I'm hoping for some new colors this time and not just the same ones over and over.

I've been busy trying to get more tutorials together, but I keep getting sidetracked by thoughts for other bracelets or like this tutorial showing how to extend the Checkerboard. So many ideas rolling around in my head, but just not enough time to get them all put together.

I've been working on new bracelet ideas and here is a picture of tutorials that are soon to come! This one I am calling the Zipper.

Pretty fantastic looking right? AND the best part? They are made on just ONE loom and I don't even think they need an extension, especially not for a child's wrist. So exciting! But don't think that I have forgotten about the other tutorials. I just need to render and upload my Granny Square bracelet tutorial and I have another way to make the Checkerboard bracelet on just one loom that I want to get finished too.

I'm currently using PowerDirector 11 to do all my editing, I just wish I had it on multiple computers so that I could render one video while editing another instead of waiting hours to get started. But, oh well, I'm getting them out, just not as fast as I would like. 

So, some people were asking how to extend the checkerboard and I wanted to put together a little tutorial on how I would do it, if I needed to extend it. I hope that this will help some people do that. 

Enjoy! And check back soon. There's always more!

Monday, January 27, 2014

TWO loom "Long Checkerboard" Tutorial.

I'm continually trying to make my designs on less looms, that way more and more people can enjoy them. In this tutorial I have reduced the number of looms needed to make it from 4 to 2...and I may even be able to make it on just one, but that is a work in progress!

The other day it's like I had this epiphany regarding how to use the Rainbow Loom. Before I was always thinking of it in one way, but now, well, I'm thinking of it in a way that will enable me to make so many more of my designs on less looms and extending them will be sooooo much easier. You'll just have to wait to see what I mean!

And that 'waiting' word...hopefully the wait won't be too long, but with school closings for the cold weather, I'm losing out on some "me" time to record, edit, etc. tutorials. It's really hard to have all these ideas rolling around in my head of how to do this or that, and knowing that I won't be able to sit down to work them out until after all the kiddos have gone to bed for the night.

But enough of that! I present to you my Long Checkerboard bracelet on 2 looms. In this tutorial I tried to explain how you would extend it beyond 2 looms long, hopefully it wasn't too confusing!

As always, enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

ONE Loom Stained Glass Bracelet Tutorial

I've been trying to put together several tutorials at once. There are so many requests that it is hard to get to them all and still be able to put out the new bracelet designs that I have finished. I know that many people have asked for a tutorial on how to make the Stained Glass bracelet on one loom and at first, I really didn't think that it was possible to do that. But the more people that liked it and the more people that asked to make it on one loom prompted me to figure it out.

I have definitely never made a bracelet in this manner before. Taking a part the loom and looping bands in a different way, just to avoid having to do the transfers that I loathe. But I really think it is just easier to do this way and the bracelet comes out great. I hope you agree!

If I get some positive responses from how I did this bracelet, I plan to remake my One Loom Kaleidoscope video to include this technique. So, hopefully everyone likes it!

And as always, if you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Long Checkerboard Bracelet

I really liked my Checkerboard bracelet, but I wanted to see what it would look like if I took out the center dividers and this is what I came up with!

And it looks pretty fabulous if I do say so myself! So, I present to you a tutorial on how to make your very own Long Checkerboard bracelet. It is made on 5 pin bars and 2 looms long. So, yes, you would have to have 4 looms to create this bracelet how I have shown here. I know that not everyone has that many looms and I will very shortly have a tutorial up on how to make this on 5 pin bars and 1 loom long, so you would still need 2 looms.

Enjoy! And as always, ask me if you have any questions and I'll do my best to clear them up. Thanks!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Checkerboard Bracelet Tutorial

So, as promised I have been working hard to get together tutorials. It's not so much the recording of the videos that takes so much time, (though I only have quiet time when the kids are napping or late at night when they go to bed) but the fact that to produce one 20 min video takes probably about an hour of recording the initial video, 2-3 hours of editing, 2-3 hours of rendering, and about an hour of uploading and then making sure that nothing was distorted a long the way. It is a long process, but worth it in the end to be able to share my creations with everyone. It always gives me a little smile when I'm out and about and see a child wearing my designs, super neat!

Anyways, the first tutorial that I have been able to get together is for my Checkerboard bracelet. It's a pretty simple design and not too complicated to put together, but the rubber bands do get a little tight so you want to make sure you have your loom secure and use rubber bands that have a little more stretch to them. Also, be watchful of your hook and try not to put too much pressure on it because it could break. I'm going to say that this is still an advanced bracelet, but it's not as hard or confusing as some of my other bracelets can be.

Without further ado, I present to you my Checkerboard bracelet tutorial. Enjoy!

And don't forget to check back, I have more tutorials on the way!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Herringbone Bracelet Tutorial

Today has been a pretty good day! I went out for a little craft shopping and much to my delight, JoAnn's was having a sale on their rubber bands. A whopping 50% off their already low price of $1.99 a bag for 500 bands. That means that I would have paid .99 cents a bag, but I also had a coupon for 20% off my total purchase, so that means even less! I'd say how much I got, but who knows if the hubby reads this, lol. Let's just say that I'm stocked up for quite awhile. Plus, some of the bands were dyed differently, so it was like getting a bonus of colors!

I also grabbed another one of my favorite storage boxes for bands. They were also 50% off today, normally $19.99. Because I loom a lot, and have multiple looms, this box is perfect. It is the Art Bin Super Satchel with dividers. It's deep enough to hold multiple bags of rubber bands (3 to be exact) and it can store multiple looms as well if you leave out some of the dividers. Although, I have been storing my looms in a different case for awhile now; (a Recollections scrap booking case that has a large tray on top to hold my looms and a divided area underneath for rubber bands or what not), I still really like the Art Bin.

Anyways, enough of that. You've come for the tutorial, so I present to you my tutorial for my Herringbone bracelet. It takes 5 pin bars to make and is an advanced pattern. I recorded this video before I received the critiques on my other ones, so I have tried to edit it as best I can to satisfy all the suggestions. It is still not perfect, but hopefully, you are able to make this bracelet without too much trouble.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Haven't Been Idle...

So, things are starting to get back to normal around here. The kids are back in school...well, kinda, they have had cold weather closures the last two days. We've just been trying to keep warm!

I haven't had time to get any tutorials together, but I have come up with several new designs, tutorials will come as soon as I can get them together. But until the tutorials come, I thought that I would show case some of them for you. Let me know what you think!

First, these are my attempts at a Diagonal Granny Square bracelet. I'm still trying to figure out how to get it to have a more square appearance. It did take 9 pin bars to make this bracelet. It could be made on less, just that these particular ones are on 9. 

Next, we have a Large Granny Square bracelet. I think it looks pretty fabulous...and I can just go crazy with all the possible color combinations! This was made on 6 pin bars wide. You can get 3 of the squares on 1 loom length.

Next, I have a bracelet I'm calling Fishnet because it reminds me of fishnet stockings. I really like this design, especially the little picots (small loop...crochet or embroidery term) that poke off the sides of the bracelet. They would be great for attaching charms to if you liked to do that. These bracelets were made on one loom length long and 5 pin bars wide. You would need 2 looms long to have it go all the way around your wrist.

1/8- Saw a very similar looking bracelet on Facebook, but again it is a different design overall.

So, in this sample, I was just throwing around some ideas on how to make another granny square like bracelet. Each square is actually a different pattern of band looping. Mostly it is the center of the square that is different. This bracelet was made on 4 pin bars wide and 2 looms long. You can get 4 squares on one loom length. Keep reading to see a bit more of each bracelet!

I think that this bracelet is beautiful! This is the perfect Granny Square bracelet. There is so much potential for color combinations!

I am calling this bracelet the Buttonhole. It is surprisingly simple to make. It's also perfect for me because I can actually use it with my buttons as you will see in the next picture. 

*Logging onto the Rainbow Loom Facebook page, I saw that a design called the Open Oval is now available. It looks similar to my design, but it is not the same. 

I'm not totally loving the color combo I used on this bracelet, but I like the idea of it immensely! This bracelet has a lot going on! On one end I have attached a button to the middle of the square. The squares along the middle have a bead that the center rubber bands are looped through. And finally the far end of the bracelet has a square from my Buttonhole bracelet.....Combine all that together and you can close this bracelet!

I love these beads! And this bracelet! It's kind of like my own little flower garden. I believe these beads were purchased from Hobby Lobby, but I swear I have seen similar ones at Michael's... or Jo-Ann's too. This bracelet just involves adding the bead to the center of my Granny Square bracelet.

I think this bracelet is adorable! It's the same Granny Square bracelet, only with a button added to the center. The colors give me the feeling of pop art.

So, this bracelet is still a work in progress. I am planning to call it Vortex. It is made on 3 pin bars wide. I'm just having a little trouble getting the bands to go where I want them to. I'm not sure if it will be important to place the colors of bands in a specific place in order to see the pattern or if I'm just missing something. I'm still working on it!

This bracelet is basically the same design as the one above, but I have removed the center divider bands...kind of. I'm still playing with it, but it is neat as it is actually bumpy. Maybe if I change the colors it will work a little better to see the design. (At least in my mind)

This is my Checkerboard bracelet. I absolutely love it! It's unique and different and just fun to look at! I did make one that had a dark border but I wasn't sure I liked it as much, but it was late, so I may not have been thinking straight!

And this bracelet I think is awesome, and surprisingly easy to make. I'm calling this my Elongated Checkerboard bracelet. It just looks fun! It's made on 5 pin bars wide and best made on 2 looms long. 

So what do you think? Hopefully you like my designs as much as I do! I'm working as best as I can to share my ideas! I've had a few critiques suggested for how to do my videos... some not so nice :(  ......but I'm going to do my best to make improvements. I just hope that everyone understands that I am not a professional and I am sharing my ideas because I love to create! And share! 

Anyways, don't give up on me yet. My kids are always the top priority and so my creativity takes a backseat when they need me...which is all the time it seems, lol.